South Africa
16 to 26°C
3218 hours
sunshine per day
396 mm
258 days
107 days
0 days

Climate of South Africa

Because of its size and location near the southernmost tip of Africa, South Africa has a wide range of temperatures throughout the year. The climate is subtropical, meaning warm to hot year-round with only brief cold spells in winter. The typical temperature in South Africa ranges from about 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, depending on the region and time of year.

Climate averages for the whole year

  • Day: the average daily temperature during the day is between 16°C and 26°C
  • Night:the average nighttime temperature is between 10°C and 18°C
  • Sea temperature: the sea temperature is between 16°C and 21°C
  • Rain: it rains 107 days and there is a total of approximately 396 mm rainfall
  • Sun hours: throughout the year there are 3218 sun hours
Maximum temperature: between 16°C and 26°C
Warmest month: 26°C in January
Coldest month: 16°C in June
Night temperature: between 10°C and 18°C
Sea temperature: between 16°C and 21°C
Dry days: 258 days
Days with rain: 107 days
Days with snow: 0 days
Total rain sum: 396 mm
Hours of sunshine: 3218 hours

Spring (September to November)

Between the extremes of summer heat and winter cold, South Africa has a brief spring from September to November. During this time, temperatures are usually between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius, but this can vary by area.

During this time of year, storms and other types of bad weather are more common and intense throughout the country.

Summer (December to February)

Summer in South Africa reaches its peak during the months of December, January and February. Temperatures usually range from the mid-20s to mid-30s during this time, but in the north and inland areas they can reach much higher.

At this time of year, humidity rises throughout the country, making the already unpleasant heat much worse.

Fall (March to May)

The South African autumn season, covering the months of March through May, is a transitional period between the country's scorching summer and cold winter. At this time of year, temperatures are usually between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius.

At this time of year, precipitation in the country increases, which can lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of storms and other forms of extreme weather.

Winter (June to August)

The South African winter (June-August) is the period when temperatures drop the most. Usually temperatures at this time of year are between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius, but in some regions they can be significantly lower, especially at higher altitudes.

Part of the country may see sub-zero temperatures and perhaps snowfall due to cold fronts advancing from the South Atlantic.

Climate variations by region

South Africa's weather varies from area to area, and the country's many regions all have their own characteristics. The Western Cape, for example, has a Mediterranean climate, making winters hot and wet and summers extremely hot and dry.

Eastern areas such as KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape have a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and moderate, dry winters. The northern provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga have the same hot, dry climate as the rest of the country.

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Temperature graph

This graph shows the average maximum temperature (red) and minimum temperature (blue) for South Africa.

Precipitation graph

This graph shows the average amount of rainfall per month for South Africa.

Climate table of South Africa

In this climate table you can see at a glance what the average weather per month is for South Africa. The data has been collected over a 30-year period, from which an average per month has been derived. From year to year the differences may be larger or smaller, but with this climate table you have a good idea of what the weather for South Africa might be like in a given month.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Day temp. (°C) 26 26 25 22 19 16 17 17 18 21 22 24
Night temp. (°C) 18 18 17 15 13 11 10 10 11 13 14 16
Water temp. (°C) 21 20 20 19 18 18 17 17 16 17 19 20
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Precipitation (mm) 9 8 11 32 40 92 45 68 37 20 19 15
Days with rain 6 5 7 9 11 14 9 12 12 9 7 6
Dry days 25 23 24 21 20 16 22 19 18 22 23 25
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sun hours per day 11 10 9 9 6 6 7 8 8 10 11 11
Wind force (Bft) 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
UV-index 6 6 5 5 4 4 4 4 5 5 6 6

Best time to visit South Africa

As a tourist destination, South Africa has much to offer, from beautiful natural landscapes and national parks to bustling cities and interesting cultural sites. There is a lot of variety and activity in this country, so choosing the right time to visit can be a challenge.

The months of September through April, South Africa's spring and summer seasons, are often considered the best time to visit the country. The weather is mild and dry, perfect for outdoor excursions such as safaris, hikes and trips to the beach. The average temperature is between the low and mid 20s, with occasional heat waves into the high 30s.

South Africa is a huge country with a wide variety of climates, so the ideal time to travel there varies from region to region.

Cape Town, in the Western Cape, has rainy winters and dry summers typical of the Mediterranean climate. November through March is summer in this part of the world, with pleasant, sunny weather and average temperatures of 25 to 28 degrees Celsius.

While the west experiences cold, wet winters and hot, humid summers, a subtropical climate prevails in the east, where the Kruger National Park and the Drakensberg Mountains are located. Temperatures hover around 20-22 degrees Celsius from May through August, making this the ideal season to explore the region.

When to travel to South Africa is ultimately determined by your interests and personal preferences. Spring and summer are ideal if you want to go on safari and other outdoor activities, while winter is preferable if you want to escape the heat and crowds. Visiting South Africa will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your life.

Climate of South Africa by month

What is the average climate in a given month for South Africa? Click on a month to see all monthly averages for sunshine, maximum and minimum temperatures, percent chance of rain per day, snowfall and number of rainy days.

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